Colpocystodefecography in obstructed defecation: is it really useful to the surgeon?Correlating clinical and radiological findings in surgery for obstructed defecation

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ObjectiveColpocystodefecography images the pelvic floor with the dynamics of defecation, but various authors claim that it overestimates clinical findings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pre- and postoperative consistency between clinical and colpocystodefecographic findings in patients undergoing surgery for obstructed defecation.MethodBetween June 2001 and September 2003, 20 patients underwent transvaginal posterior colpoperineorrhaphy and rectal mucosal prolapsectomy with one circular stapler for symptomatic rectocele and concomitant anorectal prolapse. They were prospectively evaluated both before surgery by designed questionnaire on constipation and incontinence, proctological, gynaecological and urological examinations, colpocystodefecography and anorectal manometry, and after operation at 6 months by questionnaire and a proctological check-up. The mean follow-up was 30 months (24–48 months).ResultsAt 6 months the questionnaire revealed a major response in terms of symptoms. The proctological visit confirmed the absence of rectocele in 19 (95%) patients, while the anorectal prolapse had completely disappeared in 17 (85%) patients. Postoperative colpocystodefecography demonstrated a general reduction in the dimensions of the rectocele, which had completely disappeared in five (25%) patients; 40% of the patients had a persistent anorectal prolapse.ConclusionPreoperative data analysis showed a statistically significant correlation between clinical and radiological findings. Postoperatively the global clinical assessment correlated well with patient satisfaction, while there was evidence of a statistically significant difference between the radiological and clinical findings. Routine postoperative use of colpocystodefecography is unjustified unless there is clinical evidence of surgical failure.

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